Electric Lady left us feeling inspired.
The Australian music industry is overflowing with female talent, but representation in airplay, festival lineups and award nominations is still lacking.
When was the last time you went to a gig and felt empowered? We caught the show at the Corner Hotel, and fuck, we need more events like this.
The show was put together by Holly Rankin, the superstar behind Jack River. After chatting to a bunch of female musicians including Montaigne, Lisa Mitchell, Kita Alexander, and the gals from the lineup, she felt that an event like Electric Lady was necessary.
“The last year in music, politics and culture made me realise the time is now for this idea. Girls are ready to amplify their talent alongside each other, and the world is ready for diversity in female role models.”
She’s right. It’s 2017 but we’ve still got a decent way to go. Sydney’s Days Like This festival was criticised earlier this year for its mostly male lineup (bar two female artists). Bec Sandridge’s Like A Version cover of John Farnham’s ‘You’re The Voice’ was met with derogatory comments about her sexuality and appearance. Thelma Plum also received abuse online after detailing a violent incident regarding Sticky Fingers frontman, Dylan Frost. I think the time for proper representation and respect for women in the music industry is well overdue.
Everything about Electric Lady felt considered, right down to the songs that played between sets. Yes, I do want to listen to ‘Feeling Myself’ and ‘Formation’ while I get another glass of wine, thank you very much.
The first act we caught was Gretta Ray and we were downright charmed. With only one EP and a few singles out, Gretta has certainly developed a maturity in her music that’s hard to match. We’ve been playing ‘Unexpected Feeling’ on repeat since her set, but the triple j Unearthed High winner really captured the crowd with ‘Drive’.
Bec Sandridge was next and she was probably the most electric of all the ladies on the lineup. She channelled that ‘80s glam rock vibe with her energy and enviable dance moves. Bec is the ultimate chameleon and she transforms terrifically from song to song. In The Fog is a fantastic EP.
Jack River lulled the audience into a dreamlike state with tunes from her aptly titled album, Highway Songs No. 2. Picture long stretches of road with indie folk magic playing on the radio. She also performed her new single, ‘Fool’s Gold’ and a 10/10 cover of Tal Bachman’s ‘She’s So High’. You know the one.
Alex Lahey holds a special place in our heart. After seeing her open for Splendour last year, we can confirm that she’s anything but B-Grade tbh. Her ability to so accurately convey the everyday experience of Aussie youth is phenomenal. She shared a great anecdote about the first time she snuck into the Corner with an expired boat license at the age of 16 (come on Corner, up your game), played a few tracks from the debut album she’s working on, and gave us a little inspirational push.
“Just fucking do it and own it and be yourself and don’t let anyone stop you!” ❤️️
It seemed fitting to end the night with Ali Barter. Her punk rock music and clever lyrics challenge the idea of femininity and what it means to be a woman in this patriarchal society AND in a music genre that’s seemingly dominated by men. Let ‘Girlie Bits’ be your feminist anthem.
Electric Lady was a joy. It’s not without growing pains though – the lineup definitely needed better representation of non-cis artists, and women of colour, but we hope it returns next year bigger, badder, and even more electrifying. ⚡